Kerala CPM chief rides luxury car to rally, stirs controversy | Mint
Active Stocks
Fri Feb 23 2024 15:58:13
  1. Tata Steel share price
  2. 145.50 -0.24%
  1. State Bank Of India share price
  2. 759.40 -0.86%
  1. HDFC Bank share price
  2. 1,420.90 0.08%
  1. NTPC share price
  2. 337.70 -0.54%
  1. ITC share price
  2. 411.60 -0.65%
Business News/ Politics / Policy/  Kerala CPM chief rides luxury car to rally, stirs controversy
BackBack

Kerala CPM chief rides luxury car to rally, stirs controversy

Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, the head of Kerala's communist party, has been hit by a controversy after hiring a luxury car whose owner allegedly faces money laundering charges

A Facebook post by BJP leader K. Surendran shows CPM’s Kodiyeri Balakrishnan (right) riding the Mini Cooper during a rally. Photo: FacebookPremium
A Facebook post by BJP leader K. Surendran shows CPM’s Kodiyeri Balakrishnan (right) riding the Mini Cooper during a rally. Photo: Facebook

Bengaluru: The head of Kerala’s ruling communist party has been hit by a controversy after hiring a luxury car whose owner allegedly faces money laundering charges, for an ongoing political rally.

The controversy was sparked off by leaders of opposition parties such as the Indian Union Muslim League secretary Mayin Haji and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader K. Surendran. Surendran posted a picture on Facebook on Wednesday that went viral, showing Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, the state secretary of ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPM, riding in a Rs44 lakh Mini Cooper during a rally in Koduvally in North Kerala’s Calicut district.

Surendran poked fun at Balakrishnan for addressing crowds in a luxury car while calling himself the leader of a “revolutionary party". The owner of the car, Karat Faisal, is an accused in a 2013 gold smuggling case, according to Surendran. Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala said in a statement that this is the latest example of double-speak by CPM leaders. “They preach ideology all the time but go about supporting every misbehaviour in the society," he said.

For CPM, the incident has come as an embarrassment. In a party plenum in 2016, it had heavily criticized its leaders for holding lavish festivities or having inclinations towards a “bourgeois lifestyle." Balakrishnan’s rally was supposed to counter the Jana Raksha Yatra, a just-concluded rally by the BJP, but this incident may end up giving the BJP more points to criticize his party.

In his defence, Balakrishanan said he does not know Faisal personally. The regional wing of the party arranged for the car and it is impossible to do background checks before getting into every vehicle during a rally, he said. However, the party will investigate the matter, he added.

Faisal told reporters that he is not accused in any hawala scam. However, on Thursday, news channel Manorama News reported that Faisal was questioned by Directorate of Revenue Intelligence in 2013, after an Audi at his home was found to be registered in the name of a close relative of another person, Shahabaaz, who is the main accused in a controversial gold smuggling case at the time.

Unlock a world of Benefits! From insightful newsletters to real-time stock tracking, breaking news and a personalized newsfeed – it's all here, just a click away! Login Now!

Catch all the Politics News and Updates on Live Mint. Check all the latest action on Budget 2024 here. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates & Live Business News.
More Less
Published: 26 Oct 2017, 11:38 PM IST
Next Story footLogo
Recommended For You
Switch to the Mint app for fast and personalized news - Get App